The San Bruno man who tragically died today on Highway 101 was a well known professional bowler who achieved national acclaim in 2006 by winning a PBA Tour championship.
Those who knew him in the professional bowling circuit described Tony Reyes as an all-around great person whose talent, kind attitude and smile will be sorely missed.
Reyes, 38, a San Bruno resident, died just before 12:30 a.m. on Highway 101 north of Marsh Road near Menlo Park.
He got out of his vehicle after crashing into a sound wall, walked onto a northbound lane of the freeway and was fatally struck by an SUV, the California Highway Patrol said.
According to the Professional Bowlers Association, Reyes had a successful career in bowling.
He competed in 14 seasons on the PBA Tour and won his only title in the 2006 Motor City Classic in Detroit, where he bowled the 18th televised perfect 300-score game in PBA Tour history in the semifinal match against Hall of Famer Parker Bohn III. Reyes went on to defeat Wes Malott in the championship match 255-238.
He also won eight PBA regional titles.
Reyes had cut back on professional competition in recent years to concentrate on his pro shop business and coaching, according to the PBA. His shop was inside the 4th Street Bowl, not too far from San Jose State University, his alma mater, the Mercury News reported.
“It is a sad day for the PBA and bowling,” PBA Commissioner Tom Clark said in a statement. “You hear descriptions about people all the time as being 'great guys.’ Well in Tony Reyes’ case, that is an understatement. No one who ever met Tony Reyes didn't like Tony Reyes. He was a great bowler, a unique talent with a gift of spreading the virtues of the game, a wonderful friend and the sadness we feel is indescribable. Our thoughts are with the Reyes family.”
While at San Jose State University, Reyes competed on the San Jose State bowling team from 1992-95 and was named First Team All-America in 1993 and 1995. He was also an assistant coach for the San Jose State bowling team.
“Tony Reyes was an amazing person,” Kirk von Krueger, PBA deputy commissioner and longtime PBA Tour director, said in a statement. “When he walked into a room, you just couldn’t help but smile; he simply made you feel good. Tony’s ‘100 watt’ smile was a window into the man inside and it told you everything you needed to know about him."
Police are still investigating today's accident, the CHP said.
Reyes was married and had a 1-year-old daughter.